It’s rare when your visit to an art gallery involves a personal visit with the artist, but that’s what you’ll find at Forget-me-not Gallery, where Debi Knight Kennedy will guide you through her creations. A friendly, engaging woman, Debi will tell you about her career as an artist, life in small-town Alaska, or even share her favorite vegan cookie recipes. Most of Debi’s pieces are unique, one-of-a-kind creations not available anywhere else: Scarecrones (miniature, colorful old-lady scarecrows), flapper-style handmade hats, fossilized ivory carved into angels, wood-block print T-shirts on organic cotton.
Debi’s jewelry is more traditional Alaskan art. She began her journey as an artist 25 years ago, carving on driftwood and found objects. Under the tutelage of Northwest Coast Native artists, she became a highly skilled carver. Today, her shop includes coastal-style pendants, rings, earrings, and other jewelry cast in sterling silver. Unlike similar jewelry, Debi’s a sculptor, so her work features prominent lines and textures. And Debi carries her jewelry cast in white bronze, which is non-tarnishing, non-porous, and not too expensive; it makes for great gifts.
Most of Debi’s art is more fantastic; she uses her carving skills to create raucous puppets or funky scarecrow-like creations out of bone, fossilized ivory, or hardwood. The faces on these creatures are unique and fanciful, but don’t miss the details: handmade leather-and-fur miniature boots for her Greatland Grannies; sequined shirts for her busty puppets; hand-sewn, colorful dresses on the Scarecrones. All these small sculptures are fun, whimsical creations that people of any age will love and will enliven any room in the house. It’s also affordable.
But that’s just the beginning. Debi’s an aspiring writer, a haberdasher, and a wood-block carver. An essay she wrote was featured on NPR’s “This I Believe” (you can buy the book in which it was published). She also produces a zine about life in Haines called “Glacial Misbehavior,” and sells a collection of her favorite Alaskan books. You’ll also find her one-of-a-kind hat line, “Queen of Hats.” Handmade from velvet, wool, or broquet fabrics and ornamented with vintage broaches, these flapper, newsboy, and beret-style hats are colorful and flamboyant.
Debi also makes wood-block prints and sells T-shirts hand-screened in Haines from those designs. And she carries a few products made by friends, including soaps made in Haines and silk scarves from Juneau. And…well there’s more, but you’ll just have to visit and let Debi show you. Let her know you found the gallery on the Alaska App and receive a 10 percent discount!